you probably heard of tiktok and its 60% gen zs users (*wallaroomedia). you may be surprised to find their parents making videos with them or even some millennials. even if this app is mostly used by 16-24 year olds, probably more will join in the future.
Available in more than 150 countries worldwide (* wallaroomedia) the app is in the top 10 most downloaded apps and its number of users is growing rapidly.
what is tik tok about? Users can post a short video of around 15 seconds of them dancing, lip-syncing to songs, or making jokes. The application allows you to create profiles and interact with other users, edit your videos, like, comment and share content.
what is the rule of this highly interactive app? if you are a good dancer, dance or post interesting and funny content. but do not forget; you can still be self-deprecating and laugh trying to imitate the more experienced or mocking someone.
now you might say this app is similar to snapchat or instagram or again facebook and you might think you don't need it.
younger people have switched from facebook and instagram to more interactive apps like snapchat a few years ago and now tiktok. This does not mean that they have stopped using these social networks, but it is possible to express a preference towards a new dimension of interactive communication.
as a potential user, you may not be interested in posting a video about yourself dancing or doing something fun. but as a brand, if you are targeting the new generations, you might want to consider this app.
few brands began to recognize this social as a potential ally in their communication strategy. Believe it or not, you might notice brands like Burberry, Calvin Klein, Uniqlo, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & gabbana but also the nfl and superbowl considered tiktok for their advertising. The list is not exhaustive and touches different sectors of activity, but let's take a look at the options that these platforms could offer to brands.
The application has an offer for commercial use that is still in process. Brands can be present in the app through feed ads, brand hashtag challenges, brand takeovers, and shopping ads.
In addition, a brand can target a particular type of influencer on tiktok and spread content through this specific user and their target followers. some useful examples are prada, dolce & gabbana or burberry.
taking advantage of milan fashion week, prada invited charlie d'amelio (one of the most popular tiktok users and member of the hype house) to their fashion show. charlie posted some videos of her dancing in a prada look with a cute bag and tagging the brand. Through these videos, the brand had visibility over the almost 30 million followers of Charlie D'Amelio.
dolce & Gabbana, on the other hand, reached out to Michael Le (6.5 million followers) for a short video using the hashtag #dghandmade while he danced in an atelier. in addition to inviting chase hudson (14 million followers) to his men's show in milan (*getty image).
according to the fashion business, burberry chose a different strategy; the brand triggered a "call to action" with its challenge. Users could press the "join the challenge" button and had to post a video of themselves trying to reproduce the famous "tb" monogram with their hands. By posting the video, users had the freedom to interpret and do with their style.
due to investments in instagram, brands may remain skeptical about this app. however, even if gen z are also on instagram, they have a broader impact on the tiktok platform.
You may be surprised to learn that charli d'amelio has more followers on tiktok (having joined the platform in May 2019) than chiara ferragni has on her instagram account as of January 2012.
What can brands get out of all these considerations?
be an early adopter
Early adopter brands may be able to set the rules for collaborations with tiktok influencers.
This could be a considerable benefit as very few brands are currently using the platform and by being the first, they can have a bigger impact on users and inspire others to follow this strategy.
a new strategy?
while communication on instagram often requires the use of professional filming equipment, photoshop and tiktok photographers, all you need is a phone, which is used for filming. the result is undoubtedly less qualitative but perhaps more effective on the audience because it is not perfectly retouched and modified.
The fashion brand could benefit from this new way of communicating with its target and relying on the talent and naturalness of the influencer chosen to represent the company. This is not about avoiding any edits or filters, but about narrowing the distance between the perfect photo shoots on the vogue cover and the catwalks and creating less polished and more realistic content.
younger generations are more drawn to what is natural and fun, and tiktok can allow brands to give them a refreshed and less stereotypical version of themselves without forgetting their brand identity.
stay true to the brand identity
No one is saying that you have to forget every effort you've put in until today. those efforts allowed his brand to tell a story, create a specific image, and build awareness, appeal, and loyalty.
using new media to convey your message does not mean betraying your brand identity. choose the person who best represents your values and your brand but also gives you space for expression to have a more original and attractive result. tiktok continually encourages you to create and post content or participate in challenges launched by both users and brands. You can also decide to recruit talented young people from tiktok and communicate through their accounts on instagram or other social networks. It's your decision!
a shot of fresh air
what if you found out that tiktokers went to new york fashion week, according to the fashion business? the app can aspire to become a fashion destination. It's not easy to get into the world of fashion, for example, it wasn't easy even when the first influencers started showing up years ago, but things have changed and evolved over the years!
tiktok could be the opportunity to further modernize and digitize this sector while working with talented, creative and fun young influencers.
Those kids have some talent; some can dance; some sing or can be super funny and make a lot of people laugh gaining followers at an exponential rate. you decide what you need more and who best fits your brand and values.
not forgetting that fashion brands suffered a drop in sales due to the coronavirus. there has been a need to restrict store opening hours and cancel some fashion shows. Waiting for a new form of communication can help recover those losses and move towards more flexible and sustainable solutions.
As a millennial, I found the tiktok experience interactive and fun, but I've also seen some talented profiles. I think this app has potential and could transform and integrate the way we perceive communication.
There is a lot of work to be done and it will surely take time to adapt the communication strategies of the brands. balances are likely to change in future years. the best thing you can do is accept the change and be true to your identity. For sure, it's that gen zs and alpha digital natives will have a growing voice in the future and ask brands to adapt to their needs as well, so why not try to understand them from the beginning?